Boing Boing 

LISTEN: The Incident at Dyatlov Pass

What happened to nine student hikers on a winter's night in 1959?

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LISTEN: Escape From Stalag Luft III

In 1943 three men came up with an ingenious plan to escape from the seemingly escape-proof Stalag Luft III prison camp in Germany.Read the rest

Thoughts on the Hugo Awards

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss a controversy that has science fiction stars going supernova.Read the rest

LISTEN: The Lost Colony: America's Oldest Mystery

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What is actually known about the disappearance of the English settlement at Roanoke Island in 1587?

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Our newfound power to ruin the lives of strangers with tweets

Author Jon Ronson looks at what happens when we obliterate people for unpopular opinions, off-color jokes, offensive language, and professional faux pas.Read the rest

Cheese is the chameleon of the food world

Cheese is not just a treat for the palate: its discovery changed the course of Western civilization, and, today, cheese rinds are helping scientists conduct cutting-edge research into microbial ecology.Read the rest

LISTEN: Moving Day in New York

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For centuries, May 1 brought chaos to New York, as most tenants had to move on the same day, clogging the streets with harried people and all their belongings.

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The Sword and Laser: Do Readers Have the Right to Delete Swear Words?

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In this episode of The Sword and Laser podcast, we share our final thoughts on The Goblin Emperor, kick off our April pick, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and we discuss why some author names are bigger than their titles. But what really gets this episode going is the debate about whether a reader has the right to "clean up" an author's language.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

LISTEN: Poet Doppelgängers

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In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll look at the strange phenomenon of poet doppelgängers -- at least five notable poets have been seen by witnesses when their physical bodies were elsewhere.

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Why author Peter V. Brett Empathizes with George R.R. Martin

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt tackle the week in science fiction.Read the rest

LISTEN: The Great Tea Race

Follow the dramatic 14,000-mile clipper ship race of 1866, in which five ships competed fiercely to be the first to London with the season's tea.

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Are you the Goblin Emperor?

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt on the latest in science fiction and fantasy

We bid adieu to Terry Pratchett and commemorate him with one more book pick next month. We cheer for Chuck Wendig being picked for the next Star Wars novel. And we wonder if we are too much like the Goblin Emperor. Are you?

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

How "compassion fatigue" affect doctors' decisions

An interview with Danielle Ofri, physician and author of “What Doctors Feel” – a book about the emotional lives of doctors.Read the rest

LISTEN: Can a Kitten Climb the Matterhorn?

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In 1950 newspapers around the world reported that a 10-month-old kitten had climbed the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in Europe. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll wonder whether even a very determined kitty could accomplish such a feat.

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The Secret to Inventing Your Own Language

Sarah Monette joins Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt on the latest podcast.Read the rest

LISTEN: The Shark Arm Affair

Shark Arm Affair

In 1935 a shark in an Australian aquarium vomited up a human forearm, a bizarre turn of events that sparked a confused murder investigation. This week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast presents two cases in which a shark supplied key evidence of a human crime.

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Who will win this year's Nebula Award?

On this week's Sword and Laser podcast, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt capture the latest developments in science fiction and fantasy.Read the rest

Crowdfunding an Abomination with Gary Whitta (Star Wars, The Book of Eli)

Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the first Star Wars standalone film. So when he had an idea for a dark historical fantasy story he wrote a book. Why? We ask him that, about successfully crowdfunding his novel, and much more on this episode!

Oh, and yes. We ask him about Star Wars too.

Gary Whitta


Gary Whitta

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

LISTEN: The Scariest Travel Books Ever Written

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Victorian children's author Favell Lee Mortimer published three bizarre travel books that described a world full of death, vice, and peril. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll sample her terrifying descriptions of the lands beyond England and wonder what led her to write them.

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